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Depression in Older Adults

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Depression in Older Adults In the book Guidelines on Depression in Older People: Practicing the Evidence, Baldwin, Chiu, Katona, and Graham seek to bridge the gap between the available knowledge on the prevention and/or treatment of depression in older adults (Baldwin, Chiu, Katona, amp. Graham, 2002). They found that the primary issue that stands in the way of getting effective treatment to seniors with depression is poor assessment during primary care visits (Baldwin, Chiu, Katona, amp. Graham, 2002), and as much as 10% of the population of older adults with depression are diagnosed (Ellison amp. Verma, 2003). Taking this finding into consideration, offering mental health practitioners strategies on how to properly assess and make referrals for depression in older adults during primary care visits is a key function of the book. The suggested strategies are rated with letter grades indicating their strength based on the relationship between the strategy and empirical evidence that supports its effectiveness, making it an efficient reference material. With medications allowing for people to live and work for longer period, treating depression and increasing functionality and quality of life are of primary importance to seniors and the economy. Fortunately, research studies from the prestigious World Psychiatric Association (WPA) have indicated that depression is older adults is treatable, with a high margin of success rates (Baldwin, Chiu, Katona, amp. Graham, 2002). The authors intend that this book be a helpful reference for mental health practitioners who treat seniors with depression, researchers, and anyone who seeks to expand their knowledge on the topic.
The Guidelines on Depression in Older People: Practicing the Evidence goes on to offer information pertaining to the specific ways in which depression manifests in older adults to aid practitioners in making more accurate diagnosis. For example, hypochondrias, anxiety, constipation, and subjective memory are atypical features of depression that occur mostly in seniors (Baldwin, Chiu, Katona, amp. Graham, 2002). The book further discuses how the co-morbidity of depression and other mental and/or physical disorders can negatively affect the elderly, and offers suggestions on how practitioners can work with clients to manager all of their health conditions.
Benefits
This book is especially helpful to mental health practitioners who need a quick and reliable source to aid them with treatment planning for depressed seniors. The grading rubric allows practitioners to select initial or supplemental strategies as needed with an immediate idea as to its probable effectives. The main ideas of each section in the book are embedded in boxes that highlight the key concepts in the chapter for quick reference, which is an invaluable resource in the medical field where treatment decisions are often made at a moment’s notice. Also advantageous is the chapter the specific the types of manifestations of depression that are more likely found in the elderly population than the general population (APA, 1994). This information is particularly helpful for general practitioners who see seniors on a regular basis and, with the right information and training, can make diagnosis early in the progression of the disorder which leads to early treatment.
Further Advice
The Guidelines on Depression in Older People: Practicing the Evidence is exceptionally thorough in its understanding of the challenges faced by older adults with untreated depression. Their mental state radiates out to their families, treatment team, communities, and society, and more often than not, such consequences can be prevented through early detection and diagnosis. One slight area of improvement would be to add a comprehensive pharmaceutical reference along with the strategies that include medication. This would allow practitioners to be able to quickly assess whether there are any conflicts between any of the clients current medications.
Resources
Baldwin, R., Chiu, E., Katona, C., amp. Graham, N. (2002). Guidelines on Depression in Older People: Practicing the Evidence. United Kingdom: Dunce Publishing, Ltd.
Ellison, J. M. amp. Verma, S. (Eds.). (2003). Depression in Later Life: A Multidisciplinary Psychiatric Approach. New York: Marcel Dekker.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author.